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Article 43 - May 16, 2011
Back to Chic Weekly



By Jessica Lynn Harris

Here's a photo of llamas. When they are brushed their soft fibers can be turned into beautiful clothing and crafts.


1.     Silk. Silk is made by spinning a silk worm and it is incredibly versatile fabric. Types of silk include brocade (elaborately decorated, sturdy, and used in traditional Asian costume), chiffon, taffeta, and georgette (lightweight, gossamer fabrics that drape well but are difficult to master), and velvet (woven on a loom, velvet can be made from other fiber, but silk velvet is the finest). Silks are often worn in formal wear, and are used to make bridal gowns, traditional Japanese kimonos, and prom dresses. Many silks are lightweight and therefore useful in warm weather, but velvet is good in the cold.

2.     Wool. Wool is the hair of sheep, goat, llama, rabbit, and alpaca. First the animalís coat is sheered (this does not hurt the animal), cleaned, and dyed. The fibers can then felted to create fabric or spun to make yarn to be knit, woven, or crocheted. In the Middle Ages, wool was spun using a spindle, and spindles have long been an object in fairytales like Sleeping Beauty and Rumplestiltskin. Fabrics types made from wool include flannel (which can also be made from cotton), cashmere (wool from the cashmere goat), tweed (made using a twill weave), and homespun. These fabrics are usually best in cold weather and make for great scarves, sweaters, and in the case of tweed, trousers and jackets.

3.     Leather. Leather is made from tanning animal hide and skin, often the product of cattle, but other animals can be used as well (such as lambskin used in Uggs, the Chanel 2.55 handbag, and other shoes and bags). Tanning is the process that keeps the animal product from decomposing by curing the hides with salt and soaking them in an chemical solution. Leather is durable and can be worn in both warm and cold weather. Not only is leather used for clothing, but it is a common textile used in upholstery and book binding. 


Chic Weekly: on-line Fashion & Sewing Magazine
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Editor in Chief: Jessica Lynn Harris
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copyright 2010-2011 Love To Sew
Article 43 May 16, 2011




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